US President Plans Historic Visit to Papua New Guinea

United States President Joe Biden is planning a visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG) next month as he continues to strengthen diplomatic ties in the Pacific. According to officials from PNG and the US, the president is expected to meet with PNG’s Prime Minister James Marape and other Pacific leaders during a stopover in Port Moresby.

The trip is yet to be confirmed but is expected to take place after the G7 leaders’ meeting in Hiroshima on May 20 and 21 and before the Quad leaders’ meeting in Sydney on May 24. If the visit goes ahead, Biden will be the first sitting US president to visit a Pacific Island nation in recent history, excluding US territories in the region.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also set to visit PNG during the same period to meet with Pacific Island leaders.

The US and PNG have been working on a Defence Cooperation Agreement to enhance the Pacific nation’s defence capabilities, which is expected to be finalised soon. Biden’s visit comes amid increased diplomatic activity by the US and other nations in the Pacific region.

The US has pledged over $1.2 billion in investment in key Pacific priorities over the coming decade, including a Forum Fisheries Agency agreement.

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